Earbuds have become the standard option for everyday listening as they're both convenient and often the cheapest choice, requiring far less ‘upkeep'. You can just grab them and go.
It can be difficult though to know what you're looking for as many people use earbuds as a term for items that are actually canalphones or earphones.
Earbuds specifically sit outside the ear rather than having that nobbly little silicone bit that squishes inside your ear canal.
They have a speaker that is similar but smaller to headphones that sits inside the shell of the ear pointed into the ear canal.
They're actually not very efficient and even if they fit well usually let noise in, however, they are cost effective which is why many phone manufacturers include them as a bonus.
Earbuds are also good if you don't want to be completely detached from your environment which can also be a safe choice.
Best Earbuds Reviews 2018 – Comparison Table
1. Panasonic Ergofit In-Ear Earbud (Black)
The Panasonic Ergofit RP HJE120 Earbuds are this company’s take on durable earbuds which are designed for customers who enjoy a vigorous activity such as running, hiking, weightlifting; well, anything that requires physical activity really, these earbuds can take the heat.
When selecting your buds, its always good to exercise a little caution. Some budget earbuds are an excellent find; Others may last you one or two workout sessions before they glitch out and break and you're forced to replace them already, you know what I mean? We’ve all been there. Thankfully this set of earbuds or in the former category.
One feature I love about these budget earbuds is the fact that they can be used in conjunction with any device that uses a 3.5 mm headphone jack such as tablets, MP3 players, iPods, smartphones, iPads, ETC. You're not limited to connected devices as long as it has the right sized jack to connect.
The Ergo fit earbuds are a reasonably popular product, so they come in a wide variety of flat and bright colors with so many options that there are models in a particular color for anyone everyone to enjoy.
Even with The positive attributes of these earbuds, there are some cons for them. Nowadays, most earbuds have a microphone built into them for oncoming phone calls and such, these earbuds are designed for excellent audio and sound, not so much for communication purposes.
The elimination of ambient, outside noise can significantly improve your listening experience while using earbuds. Some sets use noise canceling technology and powerful speakers to lessen noise and enhance audio quality.
These earbuds don’t have noise canceling technology built into the speakers, the silicone earbuds are the primary method for blocking outside ambient noise, but since there are three sizes of earbuds available, they do an excellent job at the sealing your ear canals shut, so you have thunderous audio to listen to.
The Panasonic Ergo fits wires are standard smooth plastic and not nontangling styled cables, so the cords do tend to tangle up quite a bit when you store them, but if you ravel them up and stow them after use, you should be fine.
2. TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones 4.1 built-in mic
Music can be a huge game changer when it comes to exercise. I’m sure most of us can recall one time or another when blasting your favorite music helped you run that extra mile or push out that extra rep. The right pair of earbuds makes the world of difference when it comes to listening to music.
A crummy set of headphones are okay and often get the job done, but I can attest to the sore ears and headache that follows when you keep them in your ears for too long.
Remember those chunky black plastic earphones from the 90’s? If you’re not an over the ear kind of person and find them to be too heavy or a hassle when doing vigorous activity; a good pair of earbuds can be both incredibly comfortable and provide outstanding sound quality while you work out.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, TaoTronics is a well-known consumer electronics manufacturer, specifically Bluetooth devices. In the last few years, a few of TaoTronics Bluetooth devices gained some popularity in Bluetooth Cell Phone headsets, even managing to land the next set of earbuds on our list as a number one on Amazons best seller list, the TaoTronics Wireless 4.1 Bluetooth Headphones.
When I look for a set of earbuds, I look for durability, price, extra features such as a built-in microphone or adjustable volume controls, and Most importantly, who makes them.
When people see budget Electronics, they often think it means their lesser quality, but if you think about it, wireless connectivity and stereo quality audio isn't new technology anymore so companies can sell their devices reasonably cheap.
These Bluetooth earbuds are great for people who prefer earbuds that are designed for active users; they fit very snug in the ear canal thanks to the soft silicone buds which insert into your ear with ergonomic aluminum ear loops that secure the rig to your ear. This specific headset comes with three different sizes of silicone buds to ensure better fits for ears of all sizes.
And weighing it just half an ounce they are significantly lighter than most headphones you would find in this category but built with exceptionally higher quality materials. They're so adorable and the fact that they are pretty resistant to dust, moisture, earwax, and whichever other forms of debris that could damage the set makes them just that much more appealing.
Since there wireless Bluetooth 4.1 technology that enables connectivity to a variety of connected devices. Since you don't have a cord to worry about, these earbuds connect with magnets while I'm not in use to form a necklace, so you have access to them whenever you need them.
3. LESHP 2 in 1 V4.1 Bluetooth Earbuds
The LWSHP 2in1 V4.1 Bluetooth Earbuds are an Excellent off-brand alternative for people who value smart designs and style. To put it lightly, these headphones are cool. The buds are wireless and separate to be put in your ears. Once you’re done, they fit into the power bank when they need to charge or for storage.
According to the products Amazon page, these are the world's smallest earbuds that stream audio into the individual earbuds. They don't have any external audio controls, just a simple, one-button control that toggles the power of the unit, on and off, to pair Bluetooth devices, and to pause and play audio.
I personally wouldn't recommend these earbuds for vigorous activity because they aren't designed for such activities. They’re likely to fall out of your ear when working out, so there’s no need to spend time looking for them instead of exercising, but they're excellent for lounging around the house or carrying around to watch videos or listen to music on your phone.
Where this headset lacks in durability, I feel like it makes up for in functionality and usefulness. For example, these earbuds would be great for parents who don't want kids to grab their cords but don't want to shell out big money, or for the college student who needs them for walking around campus but is tired of the cord ball of doom.
The power bank is in the case of an aluminum body with a 900mA power source, about 5 hours of use with 50 hours of standby time. The battery can be used for charging the buds themselves, phones, and other connected devices that are USB capable.
There aren't many options for customization, but this earbud set comes in four separate color choices. Like I said they are off brand but if you're looking for a decent pair of wireless earbuds with an independent power bank you can charge your devices with then you can't go wrong with this pair.
4. RHA T-20i High Fidelity Noise Isolating
One look at the RHA T20i earbuds and you’ll know one thing for sure, these aren’t your average set of earbuds, but high quality, professional grade earbuds. Be it the stainless steel headphone drivers, the six different variants of buds, or the beautiful carrying case; these earbuds are a step up from a six dollar pair of headphones.
The first things I noticed about the T20i was the overall quality and impressive audio settings. You don't usually see this amount of audio adjustments in earbuds.
At the level you can hear music and these headphones, it may seem exaggerated, but I honestly felt like I’ve now heard music in a new and more in-depth way.
The RHA T20i dual coil headphone driver design very well could be how these headphones seem to calmly yet definitively deliver music in a way that feels much more natural and calming without sacrificing high-quality audio. The RHA Dual coil driver system works in the same way as a speaker Does.
The design uses a crossover to split the audio into each of the earbuds individual Woofers and Twitter's, each for specific higher and lower frequencies.
Just keep in mind the sound quality can be affected by the quality of the source material you're listening to As well. Say you use Streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify; you will notice superior digital audio sound quality more so than you would on YouTube.
If that wasn't enough, RHA incorporated three separate physical frequency filters that customers can use to tune their earbuds to their preferences with the small remote that comes with the earbuds.
On the remote, you can adjust the bass, treble, and the reference settings. It's not a massive change in audio quality in my opinion, but the settings do make a noticeable difference while listening to different types of music.
The T20i do not offer wireless capability, but, Even though they are wired earbuds, they're not like the lower quality chords that wound up a tangled mess in your pocket or Short out after a few weeks of using them.
Instead, RHA Used a 1.35m reinforced cable with an internal shield in to prevent any electrostatic interference from touching the cord.
5. Symphonized NRG Wood Headphones Red
For the next pair Of earbuds on our list, we are going to go back into the more affordable range versus the professional price point but with very similar technology to the RHA T20i’s We just reviewed.
The Symphonized NRG Wood Headphones operate utilizing noise-canceling technology; they have very timbre bass, clear sound, and a remote feature with a microphone as well.
Some would say these earbuds are considered cheap, but In all honesty oh, I feel like the audio quality is much more Superior than you would find on Different earbuds at this price point.
My first impression with the NRG, I immediately respected the quality of the nylon braided cables that encapsulate The Wire. I have owned a lot of earbuds in my day oh, some even with similar nylon braiding but in all honesty, they broke fairly quickly and didn't fair to the NRGs wiring braiding.
Besides the added durability, braided wires prevent tangling very well, so you don't have to worry about a ball of cords the next time you want to listen to music.
One feature I'm particularly aware of when I buy headphones at this price point is the durability of the earbuds Jack end. There aren’t many things that I can think of that are more annoying and purchasing a pair of earbuds then getting a short in the jack end from wearing the headphones during vigorous activity.
The wiring isn't prone to tangling, so that diminishes the probability of shorting the headphone jack itself and is built to sound quality, the Y splitter junction is pretty reinforced as well, so no more shorting out one side of your earbuds.
Taking a look at the earbuds themselves, you'll notice what appears to be fake wood and painted plastic on the buds themselves, but you might be delightfully surprised to learn that the seemingly painted plastic is actually metal and the fake wood is actually legitimate wood. The Rubber encased microphone is set on the left bud.
All in all, I think the NRG's are both aesthetically pleasing and built exceptionally well for cheaper category headphones.
Acoustically speaking, the NRG's bass is what stood out the most amongst higher frequencies, this is no surprise because this is reasonably standard and cheaper headphones.
The soundstages of the headphones are pretty narrow, but the metal meshed back of the buds give the earbuds a sort of open-air speaker feel so acoustics were a little bit more pleasing to me than say EDM music provided the music is pretty bass-heavy.
Technologically speaking there nothing fancy but are undoubtedly exceptional amongst the cheaper end of the earbud Spectrum. They have a unique sound signature I take some getting used to, but once you do, they're an excellent find.
6. Master and Dynamic ME05 Brass
The Master and Dynamic ME05 earbuds are another respectable, high end, a professional-grade set of earbuds to add to our list.The company Master and Dynamic itself is relatively new and considers itself to be a sort of consortium of audio geeks to take their designs and bring them to life.
The EM05s is a fantastic sort of retro earbud in design that delivers a kind of unique audio experience that other earbuds I reviewed do not, but we will go more into that later.
The audio itself was absolutely phenomenal in my opinion, but I will say this, I felt like the earbuds perform better at higher frequencies than they did at lower frequencies.
The higher frequency tones were crisp and played mostly feedback and distortion free, but the lower tones sound a little washed out and narrow but all in all, they do great at rendering excellent harmonious audio.
Balanced would have to be the word I would use to describe the ME05s in a nutshell. Too often you’ll find earbuds with suped up, punchy bass that sounds like it’s playing on blown out car speakers, but these are different.
Even the bass is more subtle but not to the point of washout; I would say it works in conjunction with instruments and rhythms of music exceptionally well, but this comes to no surprise given the MSRP.
Remember earlier when I mentioned the sort of retro earbud design that offers a unique experience? Well, now I'll tell you why!
Most headphones use plastic or thin metal, let's say aluminum. In the construction of their earbuds, but Master and Dynamic use brass for these specific earbuds, which I'm no metallurgist but I feel like brass would give a much more acoustic experience than say plastic or a lighter metal.
I'll tell you what surprised me most about these earbuds; it wasn't the acoustics, it wasn't the buds brass construction, it was the fact that these earbuds are incredibly comfortable considering the slight heft and bulk they have to them.
I had to use the large size silicone buds butts once I put them in they stayed there, you would think that earbuds like this would be incredibly straining on your ears, but honestly, I forgot they were there a few times while I wore them.
Did I mention that these earbuds also come with their own remote and incorporated omnidirectional mic? Which in case you are unaware, are two microphones that capture audio from two separate directions which improve your dictation and conversations significantly better than a stand-alone mic.
Out of the box they come with four different buds, cleaning cloth, a cable clip and a set of acoustic filters which all fit conveniently into a pretty attractive leather storage case.
7. 1MORE Triple driver Earbuds
Last but not least on our earbud review is the 1MORE Triple Driver Earbud. While searching for earbuds, there are countless varieties of earbuds to choose from which can vary significantly in cost but sound as good as professional-grade stereo headphones; then there are earbuds that cost a lot of money have an Achilles heel, they sound decent but are built very cheaply.
I have tried both expensive earbuds and cheap earbuds, and often you won't find a pair that will fulfill all the criteria on your list. In my humble opinion, I feel like the 1MORE earbuds do an excellent job of coming extremely close to finding that balance between superior audio quality and extreme durability and reliability in their designs.
To give you a little background if you're not familiar with the company, 1MORE is no stranger in the headphone game. For years they've offered a wide variety of both in and over the ear headphones, but I feel like the triple driver headphones or the finest amongst their list, especially at their listed price point at this moment.
To sum up the triple driver headphones design, they are what I would consider both elegant and durable as they possibly could be. The earbuds themselves are milled out of aircraft grade aluminum for the body which is covered with a strongly beautiful rose gold color. The earbuds themselves have an extremely low profile and are set at an ergonomic angle to fit in your ear so they sit flush and stick out very little when you wear them.
The cable running from the Y adapter to the headphone jack is encapsulated in fabric for durability and tangle resistance. The wires between the Y connector to the earbuds themselves are rubber, which I thought was kind of weird because rubber tends to get a little abrasive with your clothes, but this is by no means a deal-breaker for the triple drivers.
Like most professional grade earbuds, these earbuds come with a variety of amenities to such as a wireless remote, which seems incredible but I did have a doubt with this model remote, it is plastic.
Not to sound too picky but if I were shelling out hundreds of dollars on earbuds, I would want the accessories to be built with the highest quality material possible, but then again this is my opinion and not too big of a deal. I will say that’s really my only qualm with the Triple Drivers.
All in all, the audio is impressive when determining the distinctions between high and low tones, the buds come factory tuned by a sound engineer, there are a wide variety of foam and silicone buds included with the set, and even an airplane adapter. Fully Loaded, eh?
Conclusion: Which earbuds are the best?
The 1MORE buds are simply impressive. They're not as expensive as the high-end ones but still produce a quality sound that can compare thanks to those triple drivers.
Sources and References:
- Earbuds Aka In-Ear Headphones – Wikipedia
- Earphones Vs. Earbuds? – What's the Difference? – Lifewire
- How to Get In-Ear Headphones to Fit Properly – techlicious.com